09-22-2006, 01:16 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: SLC, UT
What do you guys think of him? Would you be for or against seeing him back in purple pinstripes, managing the Rockies?
I realize it's a purely hypothetical question, since ownership seems to have a bizarre blind loyalty to Clint Hurdle. It just amazes me that Jeffrey Loria would get rid of a guy that turned a bunch of no-names into playoff contenders.
MIAMI -- Joe Girardi has a chance to win National League Manager of the Year, but it seems he has no chance to return to the Florida Marlins next season.
According to a report in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Girardi will be out as Marlins manager after just one season.
The report identified a source close to the Marlins front office who described Girardi's chances of returning as Florida's manager a "zero" on a scale of one to 10.
"I don't think there is any chance," the source told the newspaper.
With two years left on his contract, Girardi would be owed $1.5 million if he is not picked up by another club. With Dusty Baker on the hot seat with the Chicago Cubs, Girardi, a Northwestern grad and Windy City native has been rumored as Baker's replacement.
The Marlins already have identified possible replacements for Girardi, the report said, including a trio of third base coaches: Fredi Gonzalez (Atlanta), Joey Cora (Chicago White Sox) and Manny Acta (New York Mets).
Girardi's imminent departure seems to be a culmination of events that have him and the Florida front office at odds.
The manager and Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria have had a frosty relationship this season. Girardi was nearly fired after an Aug. 6 game against the Los Angeles Dodgers when he and bench coach Gary Tuck scolded Loria for yelling at umpires from his field-level seat.
According to the source, Girardi and general manager Larry Beinfest "barely speak" and do not communicate about team decisions on a regular basis.
"His introverted behavior and lack of people skills have caused most of the problems," the source said of Girardi, who spent one season as Yankees bench coach after a 15-year playing career. "Both sides are at fault."
However, the source said the front office is pointing to specific in-game decisions that ultimately may lead to Girardi's demise.
Fighting for a wild-card spot, the source described Marlins management as "shocked" that Girardi brought back rookie-sensation Josh Johnson after an 82-minute rain delay on Sept. 12 against the New York Mets. The righthander left the game four innings later with cramping in his forearm and was later shelved for the season with a strained ligament.
Girardi also was criticized for inserting reserve outfielder Reggie Abercrombie as a defensive replacement in Sunday's 8-7 loss against Atlanta. Florida's 10th-inning collapse was aided by two Abercrombie errors that opened the door for a five-run inning.
Marlins president David Samson appeared this week on ESPN and said the team would evaluate Girardi at the end of the season, but the source said that process already has been completed.
Despite the manager's problems, Florida has been one of the biggest surprises in baseball. With a miniscule $15 million payroll and 22 rookies, Girardi has Florida (76-77) in playoff contention, four games behind the Dodgers in the NL wild-card race with nine games remaining.